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‘SMEs are Most Vulnerable lot for Cyber Attacks’

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After the recent ransomware attacks, digital security has become great emphasis area for many who were taking it lightly. In an exclusive conversation with Bhaskar Agastya- Country Manager- Sales, Ixia India, Faiz Askari editor of SMEStreet found some interesting insights regarding the recent Ransomware attack WannaCry and much more. Edited excerpts:

Faiz Askari: How big was the recent Ransomware attacks for India?


Bhaskar Agastya: It might be early to assess the real impact and reach of the WannaCry and Samba attack for India. India was the third highest worst hit nation by the ransomware attack. The outspread of attacks in India was quiet high owing to the number of computers functioning on the pirated version of Microsoft. ATM machines were stalled for a couple days because banks weren’t sure of the effect of the attacks.However, very few victims came forward to report it. Barring few attacks on standalone machines there has been no report of any substantial disruption. Usually mid and small-sized companies fall prey to these attacks due to lack of robust cyber security policy& preparedness when compared to large organizations.



What level of preparedness is needed for ensuring safeguarding from WannaCry and Samba Bug? 


The need for enterprise security becomes more evident with each attack, however, most businesses only recognize the importance of network security after a security breach, which is really late. It is important for businesses to identify and analyze potential threats. Each business is exposed to different types of threats, which can be overwhelming at times. A risk assessment of relevant threats provides a clear understanding of which risks are applicable to the business, how often it is expected to occur, and the estimated loss. Irrespective of the size of the business, every organization must have a clear security policy in place. A policy that defines the usage of IT resources by employees is an absolute necessity these days. Organizations must keep track of the operating systems running on the network. This will help in understanding what vulnerabilities exist in each operating system in order to take relevant precautionary measures. Additionally, put in place an aggressive method of patching the operating system frequently to reduce exposure to vulnerabilities. Personal firewalls are necessary for devices that contain highly sensitive data. Using strong authentication or encryption is a smart way to reduce the risk of exposing company data. Every business must have a plan in place to quickly respond in the event of an incident. For small businesses, it can be a consultant or an integrator. Users and system administrators must be well equipped to respond and follow incident response procedures. Security is absolutely worth investing in, and it is essential for any business in today’s technologically advanced and connected world.


Digital is getting bigger in India. Digital payments are becoming huge in India. On such scenario, what are your observations with regards to newer Digital threats and attacks? 


Nowadays security breaches are a regular feature and organizations must consider cyber security as a serious business risk like others. The cohesive digital footprint shaped by Digital India and Smart Cities is likely to bring challenging and increasing demand on resources to defend against the growing threat levels and entry points. Although both Smart Cities and Digital India will generate new economic and social opportunities, they will also be increasingly large attack surface for criminals to exploit. Government’s initiatives to transform the country into a digitally connected economy can be effective only when security of the connected devices is guaranteed.As the risk of cyber threats occurs over enterprises going digital, a Symantec study reveals that India ranks fourth when it comes to online security breaches, accounting for over 5% of global threat detections.Hackers recently stole 7 million user records from food technology start-up Zomato and put them up on sale online. This is not the first time Zomato data has been compromised. Music streaming website and ride-hailing service Ola’s was also hacked last year, putting at stake records of millions of users.


SMEStreet Desk

SMEStreet is fast growing platform dedicated to entrepreneurs from small and medium sized businesses (SMEs). Committed to facilitate Knowledge & Networking for Business Growth, SMEStreet offers value added content which shows the actual voice of Indian MSMEs.

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